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Michael V. Allen
Filmed over six years, Risk (2016) is a character study that collides with a high stakes election year and its controversial aftermath. Cornered in a tiny building for half a decade, Julian Assange is undeterred even as the legal jeopardy he faces threatens to undermine the organization he leads and fracture the movement he inspired. Capturing this story, director Laura Poitras finds herself caught between the motives and contradictions of Assange and his inner circle.Written by
Real Art Ways
Director Laura Poitras was romantically involved with activist, journalist, computer security researcher and artist Jacob Appelbaum, who at the same time was a subject of her documentary film project about WikiLeaks. She often mentions Appelbaum in her book "Astro Noise" using only the affectionate form 'Jake'. The opening photo in "Astro Noise" shows Poitras stretched out on a daybed in the sunlight and is credited to Appelbaum. See more »
Must-see-film for those who want to know more than TV news dares reveal.
Preferring to find a movie on what the theme is and liking more imported foreign films and documentaries than those made in prolific USA, here the main person and the well-known 'Wikileaks' was an instant click, so had to go and see & learn more than mass media informs us about Julian Assange. And this writer was totally fascinated and involved throughout entire film.
While Poitras' personal inserted comments came in - but voiced more quietly,volume down- we had to attended more to hear and absorb these inserts. We needed to hear these added, helpful information bits to the scenes portrayed.
Assange was mostly seen in close-ups, so his every impartially-held facial expression could still not be easily read. But some good glimpses of his attitude were revealed anyhow. He hid some when filmed, even while talking lots, and he sometimes droned on ....so when his words were mumbled / hummed Assange was heard less. So while he was carefully conveying some info in his not-subtle ways, at times he left this writer confused, as when he refused to give direct answers to clear questions asked in film.
His female associates were not identified if in what kind of 'relationship' to Julian, or what their expertise was.... other than being always there, supportive, helping him groom or make escapes. That women were always in the " rescuer" roles left the impression that they may be & still are attracted to Julian as "hero", and thus to do the usual 'woman's work' only. As only assistants ?
Their other values, whatever they are, were not clarified nor appreciated either. Julian's mother, also included in such roles, was seen as only-adjunct helper. Can this be so ?
But other scenes showed Julian more actually responding to his circumstances -which is mostly well known & displayed in ordinary TV news clips.
His complaints - while living well - and while limited to living in only 1 fancy embassy- bldg seemed petulant and childish, as he refused to admit responsibility to eliciting the 'unexpected unwanted consequences' to his work . His own actions affected many political people, who still want to censor and punish any 'whistle-blowers', including but not just Assange.
Wikileaks has emerged as a very influential media platform source and as a threat to those who prefer their secrets kept away from the many people the actions do affect, kill, and distort . Many lives may have been/ are still changed from their exposures, as noted even in the most recent / now current events.
To learn more about the main man, tho not the only 1, who still holds dominance on the organization is very relevant and important to us all = the viewers and citizens of these media-blitzed and news-censored worlds. Tho film was a bit long, but still held the viewers' full attention,no one walked out.
This is a must-see film to those who want to better understand the man who helps still now reveal" what is happening " behind many locked 'confidential' doors/ documents &emails. Those are, perhaps, more real than what is exposed as governments' workings elsewhere. " Risk" is not a risk but a must-also-see-this-film.... for anyone watching daily propagandized & commercialized & censored news anywhere.
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